GalaxEye Tests SAR Technology on NAL’s Pseudo-Satellite

Bengaluru-based space technology startup GalaxEye has successfully tested its synthetic aperture radar (SAR) technology on a high-altitude pseudo-satellite (HAPS) developed by the National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL), marking a significant advancement in all-weather, all-time prolonged aerial surveillance capabilities.

GalaxEye CEO Suyash Singh shared that the SAR technology, which was tested on NAL’s subscale HAPS, is designed to overcome the limitations of traditional electro-optical cameras that are hindered by cloud cover. 

Operating in the stratosphere at altitudes between 18 and 20 kilometers, these high-flying drones can stay aloft for extended periods using solar energy and advanced battery systems, making them ideal for prolonged surveillance.

“At the stratosphere, SAR provides all-weather, all-time imaging, which is critical for applications where traditional cameras fail due to cloud cover,” Singh stated.

This technology has significant implications beyond defense, offering potential benefits for environmental monitoring and disaster management. An NAL spokesperson highlighted that while the initial tests are promising, further testing is necessary before practical deployment can occur.

Singh emphasized that the use of HAPS allows for enhanced surveillance and monitoring over longer durations, particularly useful for national security, defense, and disaster management, such as flood monitoring. NAL facilitated the testing by providing the necessary platform.

In terms of investment, Singh noted that developing SAR for HAPS requires 50%-60% of the cost needed for satellite-based SAR, though he did not disclose specific financial details.

Domestically, this technology can monitor state agriculture, economic activities, and disasters, with the government expected to be a primary user. “We have had a range of discussions with different stakeholders. The government will likely take a more serious interest once they see the successful subscale prototype tests,” Singh said.

HAPS platforms, capable of hovering at the same altitude for seven days, offer significant advantages over traditional aircraft that fly at altitudes of three to eight kilometers with only two to three hours of endurance. These electric platforms, powered by solar energy during the day, can sustain operations with minimal payloads, which were miniaturized to less than 10 kg for this test.

The successful test of GalaxEye’s SAR technology on NAL’s HAPS represents a major step forward in enhancing India’s surveillance and monitoring capabilities, with potential applications across various sectors, including defense, environmental monitoring, and disaster management.

Disclaimer: This information is covered based on the latest research and development available. However, it may not fully reflect all current aspects of the subject matter.

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